A new edition with illustrations by R. T. Pritchett of places visited and objects described.
The book is a vivid and exciting travel memoir as well as a detailed scientific field journal covering biology, geology, and anthropology that demonstrates Darwin's keen powers of observation, written at a time when Western Europeans were exploring and charting the whole world. Although Darwin revisited some areas during the expedition, for clarity the chapters of the book are ordered by reference to places and locations rather than by date. Darwin's notes made during the voyage include comments illustrating his changing views at a time when he was developing his theory of evolution by natural selection and includes some suggestions of his ideas.
While the expedition was originally planned to last two years, it lasted almost five—the Beagle did not return until 2 October 1836. Darwin spent most of this time exploring on land (three years and three months on land; 18 months at sea).